Robert Mitchum Award
The Robert Mitchum Award is to be presented to the author(s) of the best paper published in Basin Research in the calendar year preceding the award. The paper must be of high scientific standard and should represent a significant contribution to one or more of the disciplines represented by that journal. The Mitchum Award will consist of a certificate and a specially bound copy of the issue in which the pertinent paper appears.
The Robert Mitchum Award 2019 was presented to:
and his co-authors Joseph Cartwright, Christian Hermanrud and Christopher Jebsen
For their paper ´The genesis of mud volcano conduits through thick evaporite sequences´, published in Basin Research, Vol 30, No 2, April 2018.
This novel study used high-resolution 3D seismic response and subsurface geometries for apparent mud volcano conduits (MVCs) in offshore Egypt to substantiate the potential for migration of fluids through thick sequences of otherwise impermeable evaporites. Interpretation of MVCs is complex because of imaging artefacts and abrupt lateral velocity changes. The traditional explanation for migration of sub-salt fluids into the post-salt section requires “windows” in the salt layer caused by salt mobility. The authors carefully screened seismic data for 386 mud volcanoes in the study area to define 93 cases of data acceptable for interpretation. The data show that MVCs can be reliably identified and are likely rooted within the Pre-Salt sequence. The authors propose a detailed model for MVC formation, which includes rapid loading during evaporite deposition, undercompaction, and significant overpressure development in the Pre-Salt. The results (1) demonstrate the potential for petroleum and other fluids to penetrate >1-km-thick sealing evaporites, (2) are broadly applicable to many other salt basins worldwide, and (3) have far-reaching implications for petroleum exploration, sequestration of carbon dioxide, and disposal of nuclear waste.
Past winners of the Robert Mitchum Award
|2018||Paul Green||And co-authors Ian R. Duddy, Peter Japsen, Johan M. Bonow and Jean A. Malan
For their paper ‘Post-breakup burial and exhumation of the southern margin of Africa’ published in Basin Research, volume 29, issue 1, pp 96–127.
This excellent paper presents the use of apatite fission track analysis and vitrinite reflectance data from outcrop samples to document five major cooling episodes that affected the southern margin of Africa, all of which are interpreted as dominantly reflecting exhumation. Erosion time in the hinterland is synchronous with canyon incisions and thick deposition of sediments offshore. The Late Cretaceous exhumation and regional cooling is a major event. Such phenomena are described at the same period in other locations (West African margin - Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Atlantic margin of Brazil), suggesting plate scale processes and the need to rethink models of post-rift development of continental margins. The paper is extensively documented, with many references and rigorous analysis of data. Hypotheses and uncertainties are clearly stated. The presentation is excellent.
And co-authors V. A. Ramos and P. J. Pazos
|2016||Cari L. Johnson||
Kurt C. Constenius, Stephan A. Graham, Glen Mackey, Tess Menotti, Andrew Payton and Justin Tully
And co-authors Rodney Graham and Brian Horn
And co-authors Didier Granjeon, Octavian Catuneanu and Gerald R. Baum
For their paper 'A three-dimensional stratigraphic model for the Messinian crisis in the Pannonian Basin, eastern Hungary', published in Basin Research, volume 25, issue 2, April 2013, pp. 121-148.
This paper combines high quality seismic data and excellent stratigraphic forward modelling to simulate the basin-fill history of the Pannonian Basin. Using the seismic data as constraints, the authors test possible tectonic scenarios by quantifying vertical movements, sediment supply, lake-level changes and transport mechanisms for each scenario. They conclude that the Messinian unconformity in the Pannonian Basin was caused by an absolute drop in water level, probably linked to the desiccation of the Mediterranean, followed by subsidence and regression in the basin centre with tectonic inversion and uplift along the basin margins. The authors discuss the important implications for hydrocarbon exploration by identifying turbidite facies in the bottomsets of the lowstand systems tracts.
And co-authors Delphine Rouby, Cécile Robin, Catherine Helm, Nicolas Rolland, Christian Le Carier de Veslud and Jean Braun
For their paper entitled ‘Quantification and causes of the terrigenous sediment budget at the scale of a continental margin: a new method applied to the Namibia-South Africa margin’, published in Basin Research, volume 24, issue 1, February 2012, pp. 3–30.
A new method is presented by the authors for estimating, in three dimensions with uncertainties, the history and volume of sediment accumulation at the entire basin scale, from upstream continental onlap to the most distal deep marine deposits. Having developed the method based on regional 2D cross-sections, available in most basins worldwide, the authors apply the technique to quantify the sediment accumulation volume history along the Namibia-South Africa margin. They identify a number of significant variations in accumulation volumes and rates and relate these to changes in relief, deformation and climate. By linking the spatio-temporal evolution of porosity with regional thermochronology, the new method can help to identify prospective areas of hydrocarbon maturity. Because the approach is relatively easy to implement in a variety of basin settings, it is very likely to benefit the practising explorationist.
And co-authors William Helland-Hansen and Scott Bullimore